Community, Down On the Farm, Environment, Events, Farmers Markets, Food Equality, Food Justice, Gardening, Health, Neighbors, Non-Profits, Opal's Farm, Relationships, Service Organizations, Service to Others, Simplicity, Spirituality, Spring, Unity Unlimited, Inc., Urban Farming, Volunteers

New Market This Saturday!

It rained last night! That’s a major news flash this Spring. I went to the farm today after the road dried up enough to pass and found the first ripe tomato of the season! I’d love to say it’s going to market, but it didn’t quite make it home. Enough said…

We are so grateful for the rain. Everything is looking so good. There’s something special found in God’s watering system that outperforms even the best of human irrigation. It seems like everything grew a couple of inches overnight. I hope to be bringing some variety to Cowtown Farmers Market this Saturday. Be sure and get there early before it sells out!

This coming Saturday, April 3oth, we will be leaving after Cowtown Farmers Market and setting up at the Funkytown Mindful Market at Texas Wesleyan University for the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood. It promises to be a wonderful day full of family fun, wellness, and developing healthy habits. I hope to see you all there. We are grateful to be a part of the festivities and hope we can continue to bring healthy, fresh local produce to our neighbors.

Funkytown Mindful Market

Join us at the Mindful Market for an eventful day to engage in mindful habits and support vendors that are providing services to improve our longevity.

Enjoy a plant-based meal or explore mindful movements that can help you start your journey to longevity.

April 30th, 2022 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Texas Wesleyan University

3200 E. Rosedale Street | Fort Worth Texas | 76105

Community, Down On the Farm, Education, Environment, Events, Family, Fighting Poverty, Food Equality, Food Insecurity, Food Justice, Generations, Gratitude, Heroes, Non-Profits, Opal's Farm, Regeneration, Relationships, Service Organizations, Service to Others, Social Justice, Spirituality, Spring, Tractors, Unity Unlimited, Inc., Urban Farming, Volunteers

The First Annual Young Women’s Leadership Academy Day at Opal’s Farm

It’s been a fantastic week down on the farm! We found out we had another truckload of tomatoes waiting for us at TCC NW campus, the new sections of the farm are plowed, and cover crops are in. We are trying some new planting methods suggested by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) that may help us with weed control and crop yields for the coming year. We’re even trying new cover crops to battle our nemesis – the dastardly Johnson Grass!

Yesterday, we had an awesome volunteer workday with the students and parents from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA). The response from all the students and parents was overwhelming. We had 201 people sign up for the workday! We couldn’t believe it. We’ve never had such an outpouring of support from our community!

To be honest, we weren’t sure we could handle that many volunteers at one time, but the kids, parents, and grandparents made it easy for us and really (I mean really!) got an amazing amount of seed planted, weeding accomplished, and furrows covered in wood chips for the coming Spring crops!

We all decided that this was the first annual YMLA Day at Opal’s Farm. It will be an annual event for us all! I’m already looking forward to next year!

Ms. Opal came by later in the morning and that was the icing on the cake for the day. She was able to spend time speaking with many of the young ladies, families, and staff and get pictures with them as well. We were so pleased that Ms. Opal came by. We knew she had a busy schedule this past weekend, but she wanted to make sure that everyone at YWLA knew how much we appreciated them.

The YWLA helped us plant enough to easily provide 15- 20 thousand meals when all is harvested. Moreover, they completed 4-6 weeks of work in a two-hour shift. The huge number of folks and their commitment to service made for an amazing day and a huge leap for Opal’s Farm.

I spoke with so many of the young ladies, the adults, and staff about what the farm is all about and I’m overwhelmed by the number of folks coming back to volunteer on their own. I applaud the YWLA for bringing us so many great young people with hearts for service and the community. They are preparing our young ladies to be the leaders for Fort Worth’s future, and we commend them for their incredible work. There aren’t words to express our gratitude to you all.

I would also like to thank our Volunteer Coordinator, Stacey Harwood, and our regular volunteers that are here each week. They came to help show everyone what needed to be done and how to go about it. We couldn’t do what we do without you – Melissa, Jamie, Brandon, Elizabeth, and Oscar. I think they were all smiling right along with me when the day was through!

We all love us some Ms. Opal!
Bad Weather, Community, Culture, Down On the Farm, Events, Generations, History, Hope, Neighbors, Opal's Farm, Relationships, Role Models, Service to Others, Social Justice, Truth, Unity Unlimited, Inc., What Can I Do

New Date!

Good Icy Texas Morning to you all! It’s not as cold as yesterday but it looks like this front is sticking around longer than we’d like and the roads are still treacherous. We’ve rescheduled “A New Community Vision for Fort Worth” for March 9th at TCC South Campus. We want a strong showing from our community so please come. The evening features a conversation with Ms. Opal Lee well as a showcase by Ballet Folklorico Fort Worth, Inc.

Unity Unlimited, Inc. is so pleased to be hosting this event. The registration link is https://dallastrht.org/event/a-new-community-vision-for-fort-worth/

Bad Weather, Community, Down On the Farm, Events, Faith, Food Justice, Neighbors, Non-Profits, Opal's Farm, Service Organizations, Service to Others, Spirituality, Tractors, Unity Unlimited, Inc., Urban Farming, Volunteers, What Can I Do

Brrrrr…

I went to the farm this morning to work on the tiller for our Kubota Tractor (thanks to our sponsor, Zimmerer Kubota!) and was met by a coating of ice across the steel machine. It appears winter has made it’s (hopefully) last gasp. It’s brutally cold this morning and after several failed attempts to extract a broken shear bolt, I too, made my last gasp and headed home to take Margaret to the doctor. Generally, I don’t like taking time off from the farm, but I was secretly thrilled to have a reason to be out of the February cold.

Please know that if you scheduled time to volunteer today, we are closing Opal’s Farm to volunteers. Not only is it unbelievably cold but we would hate for anyone to endanger themselves on the road. Some bridges have patches of ice so please be careful out there.

The onions are in as well as most of our potatoes. Everything is watered and covered in hay to avoid the next couple of freezing nights. We hope next week brings us warmer, and wetter, weather. We are excited to get the Spring crops growing and have more selection at Cowtown Farmers Market.

We’ve been absent from the market far longer than we anticipated. Thankfully it’s not because of lack of produce, but it has been COVID-related issues. Many folks seem to think that the pandemic is over. Unfortunately, that’s not true. It’s still out there halting work and causing hardship; particularly for the unvaccinated. I’m not going to preach about common sense safety measures everyone should observe – if not for them then for their community – but please, if you’re feeling under the weather please stay home and take care of yourself. That helps us take care of ourselves as well.

That being said…

It looks like we have a couple of more weeks to go before returning to Cowtown Farmers Market. We miss you guys and hope to see everyone soon.

A final note: Unity Unlimited was scheduled to host the DTRST, A New Community Vision for Fort Worth, tonight at TCC South Campus. Due to the possibility of freezing rain and treacherous rods, this event id being reschedule in the first part of March. We are finalizing the dates and we’ll let you know. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you’ll be part of this event.

#GivingTuesday, Autumn, Community, Donations, Down On the Farm, Events, Faith, Fall, Fighting Poverty, Food Equality, Food Insecurity, Food Justice, Giving, Gratitude, Hope, Kentucky, Neighbors, Non-Profits, Nutrition, Opal's Farm, Regeneration, Service Organizations, Service to Others, Simplicity, Social Justice, Spirituality, Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Unity Unlimited, Inc., Urban Farming, Volunteers, What Can I Do

We’re Back!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I took a week to travel to Kentucky and spend the holiday with my family. Stacey Harwood, our Volunteer Coordinator, looked after Opal’s Farm in my absence and did a stellar job. Our Opal’s volunteers and our Grow SE apprentices got plenty of fresh produce to the community.

I spent this afternoon sorting tomatoes – I’m through the first four hundred pounds – and checking the progress of our Fall crops. I can’t wait to see you all at Cowtown Farmers Market this Saturday morning!

I can’t believe we still haven’t had our first freeze here in Fort Worth. The near freeze Thanksgiving night killed off some of the weaker tomato and pepper plants, but the bulk of the plants are still blooming and loaded once again. I never dreamed we’d be bringing fresh tomatoes in December! We’ll also have purple top turnips, bak choi, lettuces, spinach, mustard greens, and winter squash. Come on out and load your baskets!

I also want to remind everyone that Tuesday is the International Day of Giving – Giving Tuesday. The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become a time to come together and support local non-profits during the holiday season. It gives us each the chance to practice radical generosity.

The ice storm in February and fifteen inches of rain in May affected our Spring production. We need you more than ever to continue our work bringing fresh, healthy produce to underserved and neglected communities. You can donate through our website, www.unityunlimited.org, through our Opal’s Farm Facebook page, or at Cowtown Farmers Market on Saturday mornings (I know – it’s not Tuesday but…).

Thank you all and Happy Holidays to each of you!